“What I Remember (18)” – Nayana Nair

today’s sadness is brought upon
by the increasing count of the words
that i have forbidden myself to speak.

today’s sadness is brought upon
by the particularly sad song
that i have chosen to listen.

today’s sadness is partially due to the strangers with sweet eyes,
partially due to my angels with weak hearts,
and also the fact that i must love (and have loved) everything wrong
without causing pain to anyone but myself.

i must write without baring myself.
i must write to never let myself forget what i can’t speak.

do not write this, do not be mean, do not be ungrateful
do not blame, no names, no dates, do not put anyone’s weakness on show

all such favors that i must do
for the sake of my perpetrators and my protectors.

i must act like a better person, even when i am not
in my fingers i am told to hold
everyone’s shame and everyone’s guilt,
and find my freedom in that.

today’s sadness is a breather,
the rare moment i allow myself to see
how messed up all this is,
before i turn off the light
only to stumble through life again.


  1. Amittras Pal says:

    How do you manage to bring out these painful thoughts into words?
    I just can’t tell you how much it relates to my recent days. But then again, we have to live through it, don’t we?

    1. Nayana Nair says:

      I have realized this over time, that even though we all live different lives, we have a lot in common. Things we think no one would understand and end up feeling alone sometimes, but there is someone who knows what it feels like. I hope my poem can make you feel understood and less lonelier than before.
      I am glad that you found my poem relatable πŸ™‚ Means a lot to hear that πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€

  2. There is so much that could so easily be said about this poem. Maybe the place to start is to thank you for — once again — sharing something both painful to share, and wholly worth sharing. Nayana, you are among a very few creative people who consistently enrich my life whenever I get a chance to read and study one of your creations.

    I think your poem transcends itself. The feelings you express go beyond what specifically prompted them this time around — i.e. “loving wrong, realism, etc.” You capture here the complexity of what happens whenever we are compelled to look at a truth — any truth — that we cannot stand to look at. At least not for long.

    Incredibly insightful.

    1. Nayana Nair says:

      I think sadness like any other emotion is a bit complicated and can be caused by thousand of reason. One of them, as you said, is facing the truth. Sometimes there is not much we can do even when know the truth. Even if there are actions that we can take, when we take others into consideration, or think about the things that we would have to give up as a result of our choice to take that action. That’s why facing truth many times is accompanied with the feeling of helplessness. As you said, we cannot stand to look at it. πŸ™‚
      I am really glad to hear your thoughts on my work. I am not sure if I deserve the praise you have given me, but I will continue to do my best so that I become worthy of it (at least in my own eyes).
      Really glad that you liked my poem πŸ™‚ Thank you so much πŸ™‚

      1. It is often much easier to see someone else’s strengths than it is to see our own, don’t you think? Or am I mistaken about that — in much the same way as I am mistaken about most things. πŸ˜€

      2. Nayana Nair says:

        That’s so true. Seeing, loving and accepting ourselves might be one of the hardest yet necessary task ever πŸ™‚ So you are not wrong about that πŸ˜€ (or we both may be wrong together, which is fine :))

  3. By the way, what do you think of “The Big Red Book”? Is it worth getting?

    1. Nayana Nair says:

      Though I have still not finished reading “The Big Red Book”…but I would highly recommend it.
      The reason I have still not finished reading it, is because as the name suggests it is a pretty big book, with lots and lots of poem. And they are the kind that you really want to understand slowly, not something to rush through. Though most collection of poems have some poems that are too good, and some not so much. In the case of “The Big Red Book”, personally I think 90% of the poems (of what I have read yet, I have only made it half way) are beautiful and have given me something to think about or appreciate. So I would highly recommend it. πŸ™‚
      (All the poems are free verse, not much of rhyme to be found. I mention this, for some people I have heard do not like this book because of this fact. I love free verse as long as it is fully of meaning, emotions, and imagery :))

      1. Thank you. I will order it. I much appreciate your detailed and informative review.

      2. Nayana Nair says:

        Hope you enjoy reading it :):D

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